It’s Not You, It’s Me

Lincoln was 6’4″, caramel complexion, with a voice like the dude from Boyz II Men who be talking on all the tracks (I think his name is Michael McCary). I was already arguing too much with Emanuel so meeting Lincoln was a sign that I should just end things with Emanuel and get with Lincoln right? So after just meeting Lincoln, walking around Manhattan for hours just talking and enjoying each other’s company, I decided to send Emanuel the text – the “it’s not me it’s you” text, because he was acting up for awhile and he knew it so the end was inevitable. Emanuel was a family friend so imagine how awkward it was when he was at the summer BBQ just as Lincoln pulled up looking like the only dessert!

I was 18yrs old, he was 22 and serving in the military (I had a thing for a man in uniform…still do…). We spent hours talking on the phone, he would visit me after work and we would just walk around the block and stop at a park bench on those beautiful summer days in New York until it got dark and he would walk me back home and be on his way. Just to do it all again the next day. It was only a few short months of this summer romance then he had to report back to his base in Baltimore. I thought it was over but Lincoln still wanted to see the kid (well duh) so I would hop on the bus (no I didn’t drive then…still don’t lol) to spend the weekend after I got off work. After the second month with about three visits, things started to get weird. Lincoln was starting to pull away and because I don’t chase after no man I pulled away too. He made the decision to break up and I agreed even though I didn’t want to. Since he was also a friend of the family (I also had a thing for dating friend’s of the family…still do) we tried to keep it cordial for when we would end up at a family function.

That didn’t last long because just a few months later……I was having a rough day so I decided to call Lincoln to complain about it but his vibe was off. It wasn’t the usual warm inviting consoling tone I normally got from him. So after what seemed like hours of pulling teeth he finally tells me that he’s getting married to the girl who saved his life when he was in a car accident the week prior. Yup, my face was on the floor! So I went off because I just couldn’t believe it! We talked about marriage and kids and all that good stuff but there I was listening to him say that some other woman he didn’t even know was going have the life him and I had dreamt up. Being cordial had flown out the window and got hit by a plane. After I was done yelling, screaming, crying, he calmly said to me “You’re a great girl, probably too good for me and you deserve someone better than me….I’ve hurt you too many times…” blah blah blah! And he had put those words into the universe for it to be said to me by every guy I would date after him *insert eye roll*.

Lincoln was the love that broke me. My heart was so cold after him. I was emotionless. Until I met Alonzo in….(I’ll tell his story in another post). See I was finally over Lincoln and in a new relationship when boom he calls me from a number that wasn’t stored in my phone. It’s always when you’ve already moved on and happy that the ex wants to slither themselves into your life again for no logical reason but to mess with your head, but I digress. He knew I wouldn’t have answered if I saw the call coming from his number, that little sly fox got me. So as I caved in to have a conversation with him he said he would be back in town for a bit and wanted to give me my birthday card that he never sent because he knew I hated him. So I asked if his wife was coming with him to bring me my card and his response was “C’mon Jess, it’s not even like that”. I didn’t know what that meant at 19 years of age and still don’t but boys are dumb (boys not men) so I just left it at that. We met a few days later, he parked his car and I stood on the sidewalk with my arms folded and face screwed up making sure he know just how I felt about him without using any curse words. I stuck my hand out for the card and he asked if we could talk. Silly me said yes and got in his car, he apologized for being a jerk and I accepted his apology. It wasn’t long before he started to reminisce on our good times but I had to burst that bubble real quick. I read the card in the car which had everything he just said written down along with “You’re the Best I Ever Had” but he got no points for that because Drake just released that song and he wasn’t going to mess up my jam for me.

That was probably the most affective form of closure I ever got after any break up. He admitted he was an idiot and I agreed. All was well with the world. However, those words “you’re a great girl and deserve someone better than me” haunted me. If I’m so great then why don’t you want to be with me? That was a question my young self never got an answer for. But if I could have a conversation with 18/19yr old Jess I would tell her that Lincoln leaving was the first great thing that could happen to her. Young Jess would have been a military wife living away from her own family and friends with two kids. She would have missed all the family functions, all the other relationships that taught her so much and most of all she would have never met Alonzo. “You’re a great girl and deserve someone better than me” is just another way of saying “It’s not you it’s me” and he was right. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t my path to follow him in his career. I had to make a life of my own and learn about who I truly am. So if you ever hear “It’s not you it’s me” don’t question it, just accept it and move on. Better is yet to come and life is about living through experiences like this one so one day you can start a blog and write about it or at least have a really great story to tell your kids when they start dating.

Disclaimer: Names in this true story were changed out of respect of the other individuals involved

xoxo

Jess

My online Boyfriend

Shawn was cute, 5’10” and Guyanese. He knew how to cook, planned some dates and was super nice to my younger sister. He was caring, charismatic and hilarious. I just knew he was the one. I was done with searching so it was time to delete the apps.

Oh yes the apps, because I met Shawn on an online dating app, like Tinder – did that too and a few others but this one was POF (Plenty of Fish, because apparently there are a lot of them in the sea *insert eye roll*). After a full day of exchanging messages we realized that we lived a block away from each other. Sure he could have been some stalker/murderer but I was living my life dangerously. So we decided to meet after a week of messaging. We had exchanged numbers and he was suppose to meet me at the train station when I got off work. He was 10mins late when I called with concern and not anger as he may tell it. He was at the auto shop dropping off his car, so I was ready to write him off because why didn’t he tell me he was going to be late or couldn’t make it? Why did I have to waste my free anytime minutes to call him to find out he was at the auto shop?

Well I started to walk home since I clearly wasn’t meeting him then decided to stop to get some curry chicken roti because I deserved it after the kind of day I just had. As I’m getting ready to leave the restaurant with my to-go bag I get a call from Shawn, he’s done from the auto shop and is a few minutes away from where I am. I’m not so annoyed anymore because I have food so I wait, he pulls up and I get in the car. He looks like his pictures thank goodness, accent even stronger in person, which finally made me comfortable with speaking with my own accent. See, he always asked if I could understand him because I claimed I was born in Belize but he couldn’t detect an accent. So now that he’s hearing it, my sexy just got bumped up 10points okkuurr! He drops me home after a great 5min car ride convo and as I open my door he calls me to say he wants to talk some more (but of course you do cutie). So I grant him his wish and we sit in his car in front of my apartment just talking and laughing.

So now it’s been about two months of us being in a relationship. My cousin sends me a screenshot of a profile on POF that has Shawn’s face, the other screenshot is the bio which is his exact bio. I’m actually at his house when I receive these screenshots so I’m laughing hysterically and he’s juts so confused. So I show them to him and he simply says that he just never deleted it, that he’s not active at all and hasn’t been messaging anyone on the app. He shows me his inbox on the app as proof. There was nothing to worry about, he gets up to bring me my dinner that he cooked.

Only my roommates at the time and my sister knew about him. I had this thing where I wouldn’t make him known to my family until we reached our three month mark. Well here we are at three months and after him spending the night at my apartment we kiss goodbye because I’m heading to Boston for my annual cousins’ weekend. I’m catching up with my cousins and I reveal that I’ve been dating this cute ass Guyanese dude and I have pictures of us together to prove it (my ex never wanted to take pics with me so he always seemed to be a mystery lol his story is coming soon). After my trip has ended and I’m home all comfortable I call my boyfriend Shawn who does not answer. I text him and no response. Three days pass by and finally Shawn sends me a text saying we should break up because we don’t make time for each other. Between me working 9-5 then going to school 6-8pm and him working 12-11pm we would spend nights at each other’s apartments and go on occasional dates when he wasn’t working on weekends. That schedule actually worked for me and he never complained about it so I was completely shocked.

So my online boyfriend of three months broke up with me right after I decided to tell my family about him. As upset as I was at the time I got over it quicker than my previous break up. Shawn was great but he never wowed me. With all of Shawn’s good qualities I always compared where he lacked to my ex, the ex that had broken up with me three times in four years but he was still the blueprint for the man I saw myself with. I call Shawn my refresher relationship. He was my first non long distance boyfriend and it was so weird going out on a Tuesday night, I was so use to only going out on weekends when I would travel to see ex bae. He was my last online boyfriend, and now three years later I got on another online dating app for just one week to realize that the online dating world just ain’t for me and I’m ok with that.

Dating isn’t what it use to be and we can go back and forth about what we should do now because times have changed but I’m going to stick to the old fashion way of meeting someone when I step out the house. My next boyfriend might be the next man I run into at the train station, or it might even be someone I’ve already dated. Either way, I’m looking forward to the next dating adventure life throws me into.

xoxo

Jess

It’s just pure luck that I still have this pic (I delete everything after a break up), I was so secretive back then lol, but that’s Shawn’s hand from our Vday date circa 2016.